Numerous web sites are reporting that the upcoming Marvel Studios Doctor Strange film, based on one of US comics longest-running magical characters, could be shot at Pinewood, for release on 8th July 2016.
Screen Daily led with the news, picked up elsewhere, that Marvel Studios is in advanced negotiations to shoot the film in the UK next May at Pinewood-Shepperton, the location for some of parent company Disney’s filming of Star Wars VII and Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron, which recently wrapped. Marvel’s Ant-Man is currently shooting at Pinewood’s new Atlanta studios in the US.
Sinister‘s Scott Derrickson is directing the film, the latest script written by Jon Spaihts, which follows Stephen Strange, a former neurosurgeon who had to leave the profession after a car accident damaged his hands. In his most desperate moment, he meets the mysterious Ancient One, who helps transform Strange into a powerful practicing sorcerer.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige first confirmed a Doctor Strange movie was in the pipeline last year and Joaquin Phoenix (who was sought for the role of Lex Luthor in Batman v. Superman: Dawn Of Justice) is rumoured to up for the lead role, although The Playlist reported at the end of August that a deal was some way off.
Doctor Strange made his first appearance in the Marvel Universe more than 50 years ago, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and although a TV Movie was produced, and a number of studios have tried to get a feature about him off the ground since the 1990s, this is the first time we’ve gotten solid plans for a big screen adventure.
It’s been suggested that the film may not focus on the origin of Doctor Strange, pushing character background to a minimum, just as was done with Peter Quill, aka Starlord, in Guardians of the Galaxy. While this might be seen as a radical move, it’s been noted on CinemaBlend that thanks to a line of dialogue dropped into Captain America: The Winter Soldier, we already know that Doctor Stephen Strange is a man that exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and is presumably already “special.”